Android users including myself were obviously a bit jealous when John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, announced during the September Apple event that Pokémon Go would be available for Apple Watch users. The big question was, “Will it be an Apple exclusive?” Well, according to Hanke himself, the answer is likely to be a no.
By now, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you must know just how popular Pokémon Go is. It broke all sorts of records left and right since its debut in July: it reached 50 million installs on Google Play in the blink of an eye, and recently it was titled the fastest mobile game to reach $500 million in revenue.
Among all the fancy gadgets that Apple showed off a week ago, perhaps its announcing that Pokémon Go will come to the Apple Watch garnered the most reaction out of the audience. There’s no denying it: the world still loves Pokémon Go, and a good chunk of the world population doesn’t own the Apple Watch. It simply wouldn’t make sense for Pokémon Go to be limited to just one wearable platform given its insane popularity. And I’m glad to see that Hanke agrees:
Our whole mission as a company is to evangelize this whole concept of playing games outside, real world games. Apple Watch we think is a great vehicle for that. As other devices come on the market – if those are Android Wear devices or if they are devices from other quadrants that are interesting for gameplay and mobility, and being active – we’ll look into supporting those, too.
When Hanke was asked specifically if Android Wear will see Pokémon Go, he replied that it’s “pretty likely.”
We are seeing the Pokémon frenzy die down a bit, but Hanke assures us that the game in its current state is merely the “tip of an iceberg” and that the game will change substantially over the years. Among the possible changes is battling: Hanke says that users will probably be able to battle one another in the future. Given Niantic’s expertise and experience with Ingress, another AR game from the company, it would be safe to assume that game updates are planned strategically to retain players.
Are you excited about Pokémon Go coming to Android Wear? Let us know in the comments below!